By Yamikani Nicholas Kachingwe – Local supplier.
With the little bit of knowledge i have about procurement systems of Malawi and also being among those who are on frontline dealing ‘physically’ with private and public procuring entities.
FYI: in Malawi we have two procurement acts of parliament; PPDA ACT 2020 AND MSME ORDER 2021.
Both acts are regulated,oversee,implemented and enforced by The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority PPDA Malawi .
They’re two types of procurements procedures,these are:
• International Bidding and National Bidding.
Both Procurement Acts stipulates clearly that any international company that wishes to participate in any public procurement in Malawi, they should be in partnership with a Malawian owned company.
And, any public contract valued K50,000,000.00 and/or over must be vetted by relevant law governing authorities,these are:
• Goverment Contracting Unit
• Ministry of Justice
• Ministry of Finance
Most especially when it comes to international bidding.
The office of Attorney General is included.
As you can easily deduce from above.
Ministry of Agriculture connivied with Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund to ignore all procurement acts and did everything off-book which has led to them being duped big time.
The Principal Secretary Mr Sandram C.Y. Maweru,he has completely displayed his shameful incompetence and ignorant of the law. In short he barely not knows why he is the secretary of MOA.
Not only has he failed to convice a standard 2 pupil on his useless,baseless and void of facts press statement.
Mr Maweru, you may wish to clarify and reply to these questions:
• Does Barkaat Foods Limited have any local partner?
• Which Procurement procedure the ministry followed in identifying fertilizer supplier(s)?
• How many suppliers were identified and how were they evaluated as successful bidders? And are they all international bidders or locals or a mix bag?.
• Which procurement mandate or regulatory authority approved the fertilizer contracts?
• What is the current state,do we have suppliers who are committed to supply and deliver fertilizer in good time and how many metric tonnes?
• How many advanced payments have you made so far and to which companies?
I feel the money is gone,anabetsa ndipo munthuyo sangamupezeso or it was an issue of money laundering or just pure fraud.
Here are the scenarios to prove my points above:
1) If it is an honest mistake and unforeseen circumstance,why should the supplier say he will refund the money after 1 month? And this issue has been in public domain since two months ago, this means Barkaat Foods Limited has had our money for more than 2 or 3 months, no-one knows what they have been up to with the money, maybe the invested elsewhere and after two months they will get their profits and then refund the money to Malawi Government. This will translate the money was a loan to them without interest. Or there is no money to be returned the company mis-used the money.
2) Those who were facilitating this specific contract may have received kickbacks to ignore the law as long as they’re personally benefiting ignoring the fact lives of people is dependable on AIP. Sadly they were dealing with con-men/419 perhaps there are NIGERIANS not even Indians who set up the bogus company. Now the money is gone and untraceable.
The ministry is afraid to come in the open to the nation kuti abetsa ndalama. They maybe buying time to look elsewhere on how to raise the money for a refund. This money may come out from another budget.
May the attorney General in collaboration with ACB contact their fellow counterparts NCA in the United Kingdom to trace this company and the money trail from Eco Bank.
There is something odd at Eco Bank. This is the third or fourth case they’re implicated; Magalasi bank account issue,Karim food ration scandal,and others. Reserve Bank of Malawi must also investigate Eco Bank.
Lastly, Hon Lobin Lowe minister for Agriculture must with immediate effect disclose all details pertaining to fertilizer contracts and amounts paid as deposits.
Further,if he is not involved in this mess,he must SUSPEND all officials who were involved in this mess until investigations are finalized,the truth is registered.
This issue is of national importance and it is written in good faith as it may injure and/or cause loss of lives and the reputation of Malawi as a nation is in dispute.
Cc: Martha Chizuma Sameer Suleman Frank Banda Fisimndipe Chibwe State House Malawi Zodiak Online Times 360 Malawi Humphrey Mvula Onjezani Kenani Gerald Chavez Kampanikiza Dr Lazarus Chakwera Saulos Klaus Chilima